Genre: paranormal romance, with some suspense thrown in
Gwen Frazier, a psychic counsellor, learns that her friend has died under mysterious circumstances in a small town in the Oregon mountains. Gwen suspects that a long-dead serial killer who once stalked psychics - and who tried to murder her - may still be alive after all. She demands an investigation and turns to the powerful Coppersmith family of Copper Beach. The family sends Judson Coppersmith to assist her. Judson, recovering from a harrowing mission conducted for a clandestine government agency, is intensely attracted to Gwen. He is, however, haunted by a dark, recurring nightmare that relates to his near-death experience on his last mission...
Gwen Frazier gets an urgent message from her friend dr. Evelyn Ballinger to come over, as she has found out something important. But Gwen is too late, when she arrives the next morning, Evelyn is death. There is no visible clue to how she died, but Gwen knows her friend has been murdered, by paranormal means. Just like the deaths that happened two years ago. Those still haunt her, even though the murderer is dead himself, she saw that happen when he jumped of the cliffs after trying to kill her. Evelyn’s ghost talks to Gwen, but she cannot tell who killed her. Gwen will have to find out the mortal way, especially now the police officer in charge, Chief Harold Oxley, sees her as the prime suspect. She will never be able to prove that her friend was murdered by paranormal means, even though everyone knows that Evelyn was researching the paranormal.
And so she asks for help from her best friends’ new family, the Coppersmiths. They have experience with this kind of thing. Judson Coppersmith is trying to recover from his last mission in Eclipse Bay, on the Oregon Coast. He was betrayed by his boss and collegues, and still has the nightmares to prove it. He actually met Gwen a month ago in a restaurant in Seattle, when he drove up to meet his brother Sam’s fiancée. And he was very interested in Gwen, until she said “I fix bad dreams”. His rule is, never to date psychic counsellors. He doesn’t want to appear weak before Gwen, or have her poke around in his head. But now he is heading over to Wilby to help her find out the truth about her friend’s death, and to find the murderer if that is the case.
Gwen is Evelyn’s heir, for both her house and her lab, and her cat Max, as no one else seems to want to take him in. She will have to take him with her to Seattle.
Wilby is just a small village, filled with eccentrics and artists, and Gwen has arranged for him to stay in the room in the inn next to hers, with a connecting door. This way they can talk about the case without people seeing them walk into each others rooms. Gwen is a dream talent, she can help people deal with their nightmares, and she can give them advice on how to solve them. But in order to make a living, she and Evelyn were also working for a tv program about haunted houses in America. Evelyn would do the necessary research, and Gwen wrote the script for the next episode. And now her boss is pressuring Gwen into turning Evelyn’s murder into a new episode for a new show. Of course Gwen doesn’t want that, but the man is getting desperate as his show is about to be cancelled.
After arriving at the scene, Judson has little trouble to confirm Gwen’s suspicions: Evelyn has been murdered by paranormal means. And when she tells him everything that happened two years ago, they are fairly sure that someone took Zander Taylor’s weapon and is now using it. A new psychic killer has surfaced. But who is it, and why kill Evelyn.
And the stakes get higher when a second woman is murdered just before they could ask her some important questions.
Judson is impressed by Evelyn’s lab, and he is certain his brother Sam will be ecstatic for the chance to explore them all. He is very much interested in researching the paranormal as well. And Evelyn has build some pretty impressive machinery.
I enjoyed this book very much, as I usually do with books by Jayne Ann Krentz. The mystery was great, and I was totally looking at the wrong guy. And in the end, we finally meet up again with J & J and the Arcane Society, something I have been suspecting for a while now. Even though those names have not been mentioned in the last books, the books still had the same vibe and storyline. Psychic powers, mysteries, and love. What does not mean I don’t love them all.
Gwen is a great character, I liked her from the start. Even though she sees ghosts, she is very down to earth, and capable of looking after herself. Which is not so strange after her youth spend at the Summerlight Academy. The only good things that happened at the place, are the friends she made, who are now her only family, and Evelyn.
Her dream talent makes it difficult to have a relationship, because when she sleeps, she dreams deep, and her dreams tend to invade the dreams of the ones being near her. More than one man has ran away from her, screaming. But Judson is not afraid of that at all, he can handle anything she can throw at him. And to their mutual surprise and delight, they sleep very well and undisturbed together. Judson knows Gwen is the woman for him, and Gwen know she has been waiting for Judson her whole life. She knew as soon as she saw him that night in Seattle. But is he just looking for a fling with her? After all, she has a terrible track record with men.
Judson is fighting hard for Gwen not to see him as a client, but in the end he cannot refuse her help with his nightmares anymore. He knows he has seen something important in that cave, he just doesn’t know what it was. But with Gwen’s help he can slowly walk through his nightmares and find out. Even if in the end it will mean going back in.
He is a great hero, protective and smart, and he lets Gwen do her thing as well. Together they are a great couple. I loved their interactions and the humor they share.
If you haven’t read one of Jayne Ann Krentz’ books before, I really do recommend to try one. A paranormal or plain contemporary romance. She has also written enough standalones if you don’t want to start with a series. But I do warn you, the 80’s books have really horrible alpha males in them. In the later ones, there is balance between hero and heroine, which I prefrer.
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian